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  • Turning Points and Growth

    The week we lost Mikenna is seared into my mind as one of the worst weeks of my life. When we got back to the house without her, having survived on minimum food and sleep for the past four days, I broke down. Full out body gutteral sobs from the bottom of my soul. It sounds dramatic, but it really was.

    What do I do with my life?

    I'll be deeply honest here, I've done many things over the years, but never committed to them to the point where, when things got challenging, I stuck with them. Maybe it was just that it required a skillset that I didn't yet possess. Or I'd have to sacrifice something that I didn't want to. A lot of it was depression and anxiety.

    When Mikenna got sick, I threw myself into caring for her, full force. I was prepared to put everything on hold for her for the next two years, if that's what it meant to get that much time with her. In the back of my mind, I knew that when it was all over, I was going to have to face everything that I'd shoved aside. But I thought I had two years to prepare for that, not four and a half months.

    This isn't about that, though. This is about everything that has come after.

    Two days later, I went to a friend's house for an Arbonne spa. I didn't really want to go, but because I am an upholder, I had said I would go, so I had to go. Besides, I knew that the sooner I forced myself out into the world, the better off I'd be.

    I was drawn to Arbonne because the products were amazing (I'd tried the mascara a couple years prior and had loved it), I loved that the company had super strict policies not only on how they make their products, but how they get their ingredients - and the idea of meeting people and having my own business was something that had appealed to me for years. I did my research and decided that Arbonne really did seem like a solid company, and makeup and skincare is totally up my inner girly-girl alley. Worst case scenario, I ended up with some products I liked.

    Funny thing though, it didn't go exactly how I had planned. They made it sound so easy! Call up your friends, ask them to host a spa as a favor to you, to introduce you to people, and next thing you know: business! Well, I didn't know a lot of people in the area to begin with, and only a couple of them were willing to host a spa for me. Then one of those spas fell off the calendar when illness swept through the family, and I never got that rebooked.

    This is the point where I quit, where I lick my wounds and say, "Well, I tried. It wasn't meant to be."

    Just like the wedding photography.

    Jewelry.

    Graphic design.

    Every time, when I hit a wall, I checked out. I was so tired of it. I felt like I had failed at everything I had ever tried, and it ate at me.

    There's a lot to unpack there, and I'm not going to say that I've got it all figured out, because I don't. But I knew in my gut that no matter what I tried, it was going to be hard. That's life. So I could keep running from one thing to the next looking for the 'easy' thing, or I could swallow my pride and actually figure out where I was lacking and do something about it.

    Maybe I'll extrapolate on that sometime, but not today.

    I wish I could give you the fairytale ending where I learned my lesson and suddenly everything was easy and there were talking squirrels and a white mercedes. That's not where I'm at yet. I pulled back from trying to book spas and hit the books. I forced myself to start being more social, and meeting new people. I stopped waiting for people to contact me and started contacting them.

    Several months later, I feel like I'm in a much better place as a person. I acknowledge that some things may never come naturally to me, but that doesn't mean that I can't do them. It's perfectly okay to be a little awkward and to own it. Here's what's funny - I do perfectly well with a script. I loved acting, and I can talk in front of people no problem. Stage fright isn't really in my vocabulary. But small talk kills me. Ask me what I've been up to and the past month will fall out the back of my brain and I can't remember a thing. Hand to my heart, I have to think about simple questions people ask and what I can say in response. I feel incredibly dumb, but I do it anyway. I rehearse what to say on the phone, and often have things written down in front of me so that I don't forget things when they say something I wasn't expecting.

    I don't have anything tangible to show you as far as success goes, but I feel like a million bucks. Something challenged me, and I wrestled with it rather than walking away. Arbonne? This is the thing I do and I am proud of it. I love the company, the products, and the community.

    It's simple, but it's not easy. Things worth having rarely are.